Federer Wins Grass Opener In Halle, Haas v Gulbis Thursday; Murray Rained Out In Queen’s
by Staff | June 12th, 2013, 6:38 pm

Roger Federer opened his 2013 grass court season with an easy 6-3, 6-3 victory of German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe at Halle today.

“It was straightforward. I was playing with a lead,” said Federer who has more grass wins that any active player. “That’s always very helpful. I’m pleased. There are many things I could have done better but for the first round on grass, first time of the year, it was a pretty good performance.”

The 31-year-old Swiss hasn’t won a title in 10 months, but earlier in the week he vowed good things are ahead.

“I have the feeling that the best part of the season is yet to come,” Federer said. “I do hope that the second half of the season will be better.

“I only draw the balance at the end of the year or after the US Open. Now, I’m fully on the Tour, am fresh and eager, having fun and am happy to play matches instead of being on the practice courts all the time.”

Federer has won Halle five times and today marked his 40th career victory at the tournament.

“Any title is helpful for confidence and for your feeling and in the short term clearly winning is always the best solution,” added Federer today. “But that’s kind of where I feel I’ve put myself into that, have given myself the best opportunity to do well in Halle and in Wimbledon. So, I’ll try my very best like I usually do. But I feel that I definitely have better chances here.”

In other results, acrobatic Gael Monfils advanced to the quarterfinals beating Jan Hernych. Afterward, the Frenchman revealed that he won’t play Wimbledon. Because of a poor ranking a few months ago, Monfils didn’t make the main draw and he won’t play qualification nor accept a wildcard, he said.

Mischa Zverev and Mikhail Youzhny who beat Kei Nishikori were also winners.

In Queen’s, Andy Murray’s debut was cut short by a rain storm. Murray, who skipped the French Open to rest back injury, was leading Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 2-2 when the skies opened up postponing play until Thursday.

Earlier, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt taught youngster Grigor Dimitrov the fine art of grass play, defeating the 22-year-old 6-4, 6-3.

“[Today’s victory] is going to help me immensely,” said Hewitt. “I feel like in practice, I have been hitting the ball great. It was just a matter of doing it on the match court. My first match here (three sets against Michael Russell) wasn’t pretty, but I fought hard and got through it. That’s what I needed to do. Then today it was a classy performance.”

Hewitt will meet Sam Querrey tomorrow.

Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Aleksandr Dolgoplov joined Hewitt win victories on the day.

On Thursday, along with Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro and Cilci are scheduled while in Halle the marquee match features Tommy Haas against Ernests Gulbis.

CENTRE start 11:00 am
[4] J Tsonga (FRA) vs E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
[1] A Murray (GBR) vs N Mahut (FRA) 63 22
[WC] D Evans (GBR) vs [3] J Del Potro (ARG)
[4] J Tsonga (FRA) or E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs I Sijsling (NED) or [14] D Istomin (UZB) – Possible Court Change
[1] A Murray (GBR) or N Mahut (FRA) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) / B Tomic (AUS) or X Malisse (BEL) / R Ram (USA) – TBA

STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[6] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs T Kamke (GER)
J Melzer (AUT) vs [2] R Gasquet (FRA)
[8] F Mayer (GER) vs L Mayer (ARG)
Not Before 5:30 PM
[3] T Haas (GER) vs E Gulbis (LAT)

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58 Comments for Federer Wins Grass Opener In Halle, Haas v Gulbis Thursday; Murray Rained Out In Queen’s

green900 Says:

saw highlights of federer match, he played so poorly by the looks of it

Danny Morris Says:

Federer’s serving has been below par this year. I think the back is really a factor in here. Hope he hits some good serving form at Wimbledon/USopen. Without that, he will have a tough time making it to the finals.

He has 4 more matches at Halle and 4 possible matches at Wimbledon to get his act together. [provided he doesn’t run into some Rosol like player and get rosoled]

the DA Says:

Is it safe to come back here and post? Someone opened a can of crazy yesterday. Let’s hope so.

Hopefully the matches will resume and continue uniterrupted today at Queens. If they win, Tsonga & Murray will have to play 2 matches today. Jo-Willy up first in 10 mins followed by the conclusion of Murray/Mahut. The Delpo/Dan Evans match should be very entertaining.

Colin Says:

I saw some of the Hewitt/Dmitrov match,and it was great to watch the veteran showing the young hopeful how to play on grass. In the first set, Hewitt couldn’t get a first serve in most of the time, but was still too wily for Dmitrov. Matches like this must be the reason Hewitt still enjoys playing.

Yesterday’s Guardian had a nice interview with Tsonga, including a very friendly mention Of Andy Murray which would have annoyed the legion of Murray-haters who still infest British message boards.


Colin Says:

Damn – how did that upper-case O creep in?

the DA Says:

^ I saw that article. Nice read.

Murray and Mahut warming up. Andy has to start 15-0 which might tricky. Hope he holds.

Brando Says:

Lovely FH down the line by Andy on BP. Love the spin on that shot!:-)

Brando Says:

140 MPH serve by Andy- WOW!

the DA Says:

Some lovely slices and volleys as well.

Brando Says:

Seconded DA, big game: mahut serving to stay in the match

Brando Says:


Brando Says:

Awesome FH CC by Muzza and then a magnificent point at deuce: awesome!

Brando Says:


the DA Says:

What a way to end it, two beautiful passing shots.

madmax Says:

Cannot wait for Wimbledon to start. The grass court season, and I hope for some sun. This weather in UK is so depressing. Rain and grey skies. I caught some of the murray/mahut match yesterday, only to see both players running inside after another impromptu downpour.

Federer looked as if he was playing an exhibition match with Haas yesterday, it was all in good fun and by no means do I think he took it that seriously, considering he hasn’t played a doubles match for over two years.

the DA Says:

Except for a couple of ‘what-were-you-thinking’ shots, he looks in good shape. Has to rest and play again like Tsonga. Two matches for th eprice of one.

This next match could either be a blow out or very interesting. Evans is capable of playing way above his ranking. Let’s see how Delpo handles it. I hear Hewitt knocked out Querrey and Lopez beat Cilic. The old guys are at it again.

TGIT Says:

I hate to say it but I sometimes see Fed planted at the baseline and not taking the little steps necessary to get his forehand ready. He dropped a few eaasy points in Halle when he seemed stuck at the baseline. He usually is on his toes and remains nimble and ready to strike the ball. That has me worried more than the serve. He really does need more match play to get his body motion ready for the grass season.

the DA Says:

Oops, totally wrong about Lopez – he took the 1st set off Cilic.

skeezer Says:

Lopez is one of the few Spaniards with a natural Grass court game.
Haas vs Wild Thing today. Nice matchup!

the DA Says:

Gulbis is wild thing? First time I’ve seen that nickname.

Brando Says:


You make some interesting points there re Fed. Did not see the match but it does follow what I have though of Fed recently.


Fed can win Wimby should he play his best- he’s still the best on grass.

And being a defending champ does count for something.

Yet, at the same time IF Fed stay’s camped at the baseline then I just do not see him winning at all.

I just cannot see him beating 2 of Rafa, Novak, Muzza in back to back matches were Fed is mainly camped at the baseline.

The big thing about Fed’s main losses this year, and especially his last loss v Tsonga, to me has been: his lack of power in comparison to the others.

He seem’s to get overpowered more than ever before, and add that with footwork not as good as years gone by then it’s no wonder that he goes into Halle with ONLY 1 win v a top 10 player this year.

I think Fed can win Wimby- and still a major threat there regardless of his issue’s- only if he changes his tactics.

I think he needs to:

1- Serve and Volley more often: He can do this and I think it would be ultra effective for him. It would shorten the point’s, change the dynamic for the baseline hogging players, and draw them into a match that they are not so used to.

Look at last year Wimby final: how fed won the crucial 2nd set TB with 2 amazing point’s at the net.

IMO, this tactic is far better than being camped at the baseline for him now.

2- Use the slice to draw opponent’s into the net: Fed has an awesome slice, he should use it to draw the baseline supremo’s out of their comfort zone and to the net: in a net exchange surely Fed’s changes are better than the rest.

This is what he should do, with a nice mix of baseline exchanges that he can still do, just to keep his opponent on his toe and guessing throughout the match.

And of course: serve need’s to be on form- an absolute must!

IMHO, this is the only way I can see Fed succeed at Wimby. Otherwise, the present baseline heavy game just is not upto it ATM.

There is a reason why he has won ONLY 1 match v the top 10 this year: clearly what he is doing ATM is not working against them.

Hence, should he stick to it, it’s very possible that he could go out to a Rafa, Tsonga or Berdych in QF at Wimby.

So, IMO he need’s to change things up: get the serve going and use his superior (by far) volleying skills to good use- with a nice mix of baseline play.

It’s time for a change in tactics with him I feel.

Just my 2 cents on the matter.

RZ Says:

Haas vs. Gulbis…Gulbis beat Haas in the 1st round of Wimbledon last year after being down 2 sets. I hope Haas wins this one. If he has a good showing at Halle and Wimbledon, he could make it into the top 10.

the DA Says:

Delpo too good today. He has become rather good on grass. I think the Olympics was a real turning point for him. he meets Hewitt next, who beat him the last time they met on grass at Wimbledon.

Humble Rafa Says:

The President of the Injury Club will soon be highest ranked 30+ player. Amazing President, Good job.

Humble Rafa Says:

What did one goat ask the other goat?

“Why do you not like grass”.

metan Says:

Didn’t roger play double with wawarinka @ OG last year???

jane Says:

Arrgh, have missed all the matches thus far; just watching Tsonga now, but looking forward to Gulbis/Haas, although I think Haas is going to win.

Their H2H is VERY competitive though; they’re at 2-2, and their last two matches have both gone the distance, both this season.

They’ve played twice on clay, twice on hard, but never on grass, which is why I give the edge to Ernie. But you never know.

jane Says:

DA: Hewitt vs Delpo would be a good one to see; as you note, it might be a good gauge to see how far Delpo’s come on grass. He could be a dark horse at Wimbledon, like Tsonga.

jane Says:

Thanks for the article Colin; it’s quite wistful isn’t it? But I agree with Jo about things like this – how players can’t have as much “fun” anymore for these reasons:

“Now it’s not possible because it is so professional and there is so much money. But I don’t know if it’s just about money. I think it’s the media also. If you say something controversial then the whole week you have problems – here, Australia and everywhere because, in five seconds, it’s all over the world.””


Kind of sad, really.

jane Says:

volley, wherever you are, you should read the article Colin posted about Tsonga. Awww, he’s really something. :)

Kimberly Says:

I watched Gulbis Haas live in Delray Beach. People were pulling for Haas because Gulbis was being such a jerko, yelling a the fans. Haas should have won the match but he blew a triple chance to break deep in the 3rd set and Gulbis took the match. They both needed coaching in anger management.

On another note, ColinO8 was watching Queens on the computer this morning delighted with the bad the language and reference to private parts used in the live chat. I kept coming in and hitting hide chat only to return and see the chat back on the screen. Sigh.

jane Says:

Ha ha ha, that’s hilarious re: Colin08 and the chat thread Kimberly.

CONTADOR – Come back and chat tennis with us on the grass thread!!!

volley Says:


i posted that article here yesterday. it’s very well done and shows how down-to-earth and humble he is. i thought you, margot and theDa would enjoy the comments about Andy.

Kimberly Says:

30 points each for Haas and Gulbis

jane Says:

^ Oh sorry volley: must’ve missed it yesterday. He’s he’s quite grounded, and that’s what I really appreciated about the interview. Great guy. I think many tennis fans would love to see him get a slam but probably some “chips” would have to fall his way. He’d have to sustain a high level throughout and he’s not always been able to do that.

I love what he says about “fun” in the past (in tennis) and about real life – and how that’s what matters in the end. Grounded for sure. I hope he gets his BBQ, family, and etc. :)

Viz Says:

Talk about intensive grasscourt prep. Tsonga has just finished his second match of the day and is playing doubles later, and is apparently back on court tomorrow morning. I think the Tsonga train may stop there.

Murray’s on court now. Finally I have a stream that’s not stopping every 5 seconds! He’s up against Matosevic – the guy who kicked over Rafa’s water bottles at MC.

jane Says:

Haas and Gulbis have both been pushing for a break. Tommy with set point here … and he hits one into the net. Back to deuce.

the DA Says:

Andy off to a great start. Up a double break. 4-1

I keep switching over to the Haas/Gulbis match and back again. Shame they’re both on at the same time.

jane Says:

Haas vs Gulbis is so close; I wanna watch Andy but it looks like he’s cruising, so I think I am going to stick with this match until the end of set one anyhow.

the DA Says:

The Haas/Gulbis match is like it’s in the thunderdome. Lots of bubbling angry emotions from both players.

Meanwhile, Andy is up a double break in the second. There was one rally which will make the highlights reel. Incredible.

jane Says:

^ ha ha, yes DA. I think that’s it for EG though. Haas won the first in a TB and now he’s broken in the second. Am switching over to watch the end of Andy’s match.

Kimberly Says:

gulbis forehand flies long gives haas the break

Ty Says:

That article on Tsonga is very good. Made my day. It is reassuring to learn that they aren’t all robots like the top four seem to be.

jane Says:

Andy seems very relaxed. And so dangerous.

the DA Says:

Yes, he was very sharp, apart from gifting back a break. Hitting his FH well and served well when needed.

Viz Says:

Yes, a very comfortable win for Andy. Becker shouldn’t give him too much trouble tomorrow. Hewitt-Delpo will be the one to watch, I think.

Colin Says:

Conditions are very blustery at Queen’s; I wonder if it’ll be windy at Wimbledon. If it is, it will be to Andy’s advantage, as they wouldn’t close the roof on account of wind.

Sorry, Volley, I didn’t know you’d posted that article. The writer uses the wrong word for Murray’s offer of a plane ride to Tsonga. It wasn’t generosity, it was thoughtfulness.
BTW, have you folks seen Jo-W’s girlfriend? She’s gorgeous.

Simon Says:

“Haas vs. Gulbis…Gulbis beat Haas in the 1st round of Wimbledon last year after being down 2 sets. I hope Haas wins this one. If he has a good showing at Halle and Wimbledon, he could make it into the top 10.”

Gulbis beat Berdych in straight sets in Wimbledon 1st round. I cannot remember Gulbis winning any match from 2 sets down. He just is not that kind of committed. If he was, he would have atleast a couple of slams. You can’t blame him. With the money he got tennis is just a hobby for him. Maybe he needs a creepy uncle like toni to put the “humble” in him.

Madmax and TGIT – You need to take into account that Mr. Tennis, Roger Federer is 31 years and has logged 1100 matches. At his age Sampras was lounging on a couch in his house and was checked out of the game that passed him. Fed was no.2 for the majority of this year and still has not missed a slam in around 14years while players with much lesser miles and 5-6 years younger are busy withdrawing from slams. From here on, it is gravy for the Fed.

He plans to play another 6-8years and he will most probably be down than up these next 6years on tour. When his game hits the peaks, like it did at Wimbledon last year, he will land a slam and even 1 slam in 2 years will make him the 1st player to 20slams in men’s tennis. It is hard to see him falling out of the top 5 even with his worst game.

Great to see JMDP making progress on his worst surface. He should be invincible on grass with his height, but sadly his serve is nowhere near the best. Raonic/Gulbis have much better serves than him without being as tall as him. He needs some major serving lessons. I am 4-5 inches shorter than him and I can easily compete with his serve on my best serving days.

Murray – looks like he took a page straight from the Rafa book and gave the clay season a metaphorical “up yours”. Maybe it was lendl’s idea. There is no doubt that the real season for the fast court players begins now. Hope he can shun his defensive mindset, brainwashed into him during his stint at the spanish tennis factories [worst thing to have happened to Murray – he would have been better off just training in UK or better get to Germany, like Novak did]. He seems to bring the aggressive mindset against lesser players, but against top players in big matches, his defensive and passive mindset is a total killer. He has a lot of catching up to do : 1-5 in GS finals should not be your defining legacy. It is ok for a tennis machine like lendl to have that kind of record (8-10, if I am not mistaken) but Andy is too talented a player to let that be the defining stat of his career. Maybe one should look at Tsonga/Berdych/Gulbis/Gasquet and not compare Andy to Federer/Novak who are among a rare breed of talented individuals who got the very best out of themselves.

This Wimbledon may be one of Andy’s last chances to put Fred Perry’s ghost to rest. The countdown has begun and the clock is ticking.

Simon Says:

“If it is, it will be to Andy’s advantage, as they wouldn’t close the roof on account of wind.”

Even if the roof is closed, Andy/his “fans” shouldn’t use it as an excuse as his indoors game is not abysmal as rafa’s. A match against rafa on a windy day with the roof open and murray can go back to his IW finals 2009 nightmare. I think he won 2/3 games in 2 sets in that one.

Good on Haas. 4 germans in quarterfinals in Halle. Tennis stock in Deutschland on the rise. Maybe there is some 15year old german waiting to take Wimbledon by storm in 2015 like Mr. Becker did in 1985. Tennis sure could use a Becker like player right now to introduce some much needed variety into the game and save it from resembling the one-dimensional ball bashing that goes on in WTA.[apart from Justine and Schiavone and to some extent Radwanska]

Simon Says:

“Andy seems very relaxed. And so dangerous.”

@Jane – I think Andy has achieved enough that “dangerous” is no good. It is good for the likes of Ali/Gulbis/Berydch/Gasquet/Ferrer, but it is now or never for Andy/JMDP. Do they take the next step to multiple-slammers or stay in the perennial “dangerous” category. These next 2 slams and where they finish in the rankings this year should tell us something.

RZ Says:

Nice win for Haas over Gulbis, although Haas was putting up Fed like #s on break points (yeesh).

Kimberly Says:

I’m so upset my comments are going to moderation Ive always been a nice poster.

Jimmy Says:

Monfils pulled out of Wimbledon for personal reasons?

skeezer Says:


You sure? Did you type in your name and email address correctly when u tried to post?

Kimberly Says:

yes, its still in moderation on the rafa qualify for London thread where you and ben were talking

RZ Says:

Jimmy, yes. It’s crazy. He’s been doing so well!

RZ Says:

Kimberly, I’ve had random comments not get posted at all. Some of them are when I’ve tried to post a stream where others can watch tennis matches, so it could be the URL being blocked. But on occasion I’ve not gotten other benign comments posted. And like you I’ve always been a nice poster too.

RZ Says:

^Oops, meant other benign comments *not* posted.

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